Building Regulations

Once you have obtained Planning Consent architects Hibbs & Walsh Associates will help you get Building Regulations Approval for the work. This can be done in two ways. Firstly you can notify the Local Authority that you are having the work carried out, and pay the fee. This is called a Building Notice. The Inspector will visit, and you are required to make any changes that they may request. This is only possible for small scale domestic work and should only be done if you have confidence in the contractor carrying out the work.
Secondly, and as an alternative, you can have detailed drawings prepared and submitted to the Local Authority private consultancy for Full Plans Approval before you start the work. This incurs a fee from the Authority. The Building Inspector will then visit regularly. This incurs a further fee, but is usually cheaper than the Building Notice. If you are financing the works through a lender it is likely that Full Plans Approval will be a requirement. On completion of the work the Local Authority or consultancy will issue a Completion Certificate, which may be requested by a future purchaser. If you prefer you can use a private Approved Inspector instead of the Local Authority to provide the same service.

What are the building regulations?

Most building projects – even small extensions, a knock-through or improvements – need to comply with the Building Regulations. This applies even in cases where planning permission is not needed. The Regulations cover aspects of building design and construction ranging from structural matters, fire safety, and energy conservation to hygiene, thermal and sound insulation, and access to and use of buildings.
Some types of minor building or improvement works like putting up sheds, car ports or porches do not need building regulation consent. The general rule is that if they are small (less than 30m2), are built of non-combustible material, are separated from nearby buildings or land and do not contain sleeping accommodation, they are exempt. However it is always best to check with your local council building control team before starting work.
Other kinds of minor improvements – such as installing central heating, electrical work and replacement windows can be carried out by ‘competent persons’ who will provide their own Certification – but make sure they are qualified to do so. Building Regulations Standards are applied and enforced through the Building Control system and are supported by technical guidance documents.
These technical documents – known as approved documents – provide guidance for meeting the requirements of the regulations.